T he Spanish Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) in the construction industry, is it mandatory for a foreign company?
The Spanish Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) is a compulsory administrative register for companies working in Spain in the construction/fit-out sector. Its function is to certify that the companies involved in this field comply with the requirements of capacity and quality in the prevention of occupational risks.
The Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA)
Registration in the REA register is carried out at the labour authority of the region (comunidad autónoma) where the company usually operates or is going to carry out its first provision of services in Spain. However, this registration is valid throughout the national territory and allows companies included in the register to work in the construction sector as contractors or subcontractors anywhere in Spain.
Nowadays, however, it is common for foreign companies to take part in the construction sector in Spain by providing highly specialized services (engineering, fitting out, installations, assembly, etc.) or regular services in the field of construction.
Considering the above, what happens in the case of foreign companies relocating to Spain to take part in a construction project, are they also obliged to register with the REA and, if so, what documents must they provide?
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FOREIGN AND LOCAL COMPANIES
The Royal Decree which regulates the REA, does not distinguish between companies based in Spain and foreign companies, meaning that any company involved in construction/fit-out work in Spain is obliged to register with the REA, whether it is a Spanish company or a foreign company contracted for a specific project in Spain.
NOTE : Under the Royal Decree 1109/2007, whenever duration of the construction works and the displacement of workers does not exceed 8 days REA registration would not be mandatory.
DOCUMENTS TO PROVIDE
And, given that foreign companies are obliged to register in the REA, what documentation must they provide for registration?
Foreign companies operating in the construction and fit-out sector in Spain must provide documentary evidence that they comply with the obligations laid down in the national rules transposing Articles 7 and 12 of Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work.
These rules must be transposed by the EU countries and are therefore a common framework of the application. In other non-EU countries (e.g. the UK), similar rules on the health and safety of workers at work apply, so that in general it will be possible to demonstrate compliance with them by companies that are regularly involved in the construction sector in their country of origin.
It should be noted that the competent authority may require the company to provide documentary evidence that the workers have the necessary training and that the company has a preventive organization. If this documentation is in a foreign language, it must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.
Last but not least, in relation to the application and the provision of supporting documentation, most labour authorities require the application to be filed online by means of a digital certificate.
The Spanish Ministry of Labour provides a search in the register where anyone can see if a company is registered for REA. This public registry can be consulted in the following link: REA search.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if your company needs to apply for registration in the REA for more information on what documentation to provide and how to process the application.